Andy Murray is ‘in very good shape’ and still targeting a return to tennis elite, says coach and TV analyst Mark Petchey.
Murray has endured a frustrating year so far. He looked like he was making serious progress at the end of December after committing to a strict training programme, but a positive Covid test ruled him out of the Australian Open.
He returned at Rotterdam, where he again looked good before falling to Andrey Rublev, and he headed to Miami in good spirits. However, a freak groin injury ruled him out before he had even hit a ball.
He is in Rome this week practicing with Novak Djokovic and Diego Schwartzman, though, and plans to make a return at either Geneva and Lyon.
And Petchey, who coached Murray earlier in his career and has now re-joined his team as an advisor, believes there is still plenty of reasons for the former world number one to be hopeful.
“He’s actually in very good shape given obviously it’s a different stage of Andy’s career and since the hip situation,” Petchey told Amazon Prime.
“And lack of competitive matches, which from these players is a nice thing to have and it’s almost a given that you get 60-plus matches a year.
What a pleasure to see them face off again (even at practice) 😍
Do you remember the last Djokovic vs Murray?
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) May 10, 2021
“But from Andy’s perspective over the last three and a half years he just hasn’t been able to have that.
“In terms of the way that he’s attacking it, as ever with his utter determination and sacrifice and stubbornness he’s going to give himself the best shot of doing something that’s going to be very difficult to do – which is get himself back in the mix with the very elite in the men’s game.
“If there’s a way he’s certainly still got the will. If you look at where Andy Murray was in December last year he was playing great tennis indoors on hard courts against the likes of Cam Norrie and Dan Evans.
“[It was] hugely disappointing for him with the Covid situation, and that put him in a pretty tough place in terms of competition.”
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